Adopt an Elder
Too many elders are left to care for themselves in their old age, often living alone in wretched and unsafe conditions. Many elders not only lack proper medical attention and care but also feel incredibly lonely.
All people have the right to healthy aging, and in the end of life have a right to be treated with dignity and receive compassionate care. Mundo Exchange pushes for elders to be in a safe home that meets their basic needs for food, shelter, safety and companionship.
Thailand has the highest growth rate of elders in East Asia and the Pacific and is expected to be #1 in elder population by 2040. With little infrastructure already in place to care for them, elders in Northest Thailand are in a crisis.
Despite being a highly collectivist society, many of the poor and marginalized elders live alone and in dismal conditions. Due to decisions made by their parents because of poverty and circumstances of the families’ past, many children grow up feeling alienated or abandoned and are unwilling to take care of their parent when she or he is aged and feeble. Unfortunately there are also some grown children who simply cannot afford to come back to their homeland, nor can they afford to bring their parents to live with them.
Many elders in the Northeast live in hazardous homes with unsafe electrical wiring, no plumbing, and poor accessability. They are not getting enough to eat and cannot complete vital daily living tasks such as getting out of bed, going to the toilet, bathing and feeding themselves. In some cases Mundo has discovered elders living completely alone who cannot manage to walk or get out of bed, leaving them lying in one place and completely reliant on someone to come help them.
…we address the psychological and emotional need for companionship…
Mundo Exchange and our local partners work to make life a bit safer and happier for the extremely poor and marginalized elders in the Northeast. The average age we work with is 90+ years old. These seniors have spent a lifetime giving to the community and are now alone. We both befriend and assist these forgotten rural elders who lack family and income. We accompany local health and social service workers to visit them. We care for these seniors by providing for them necessities such as fans for the heat, bedding and blankets for the cold, hot water makers, food, clean drinking water, and much needed clothing.
In addition, we ensure that the elder has both an accessible toilet and safe electric wiring in their home. Despite the language barrier we address the psychological and emotional need for companionship with a friendly smile, a listening ear, a back rub and constant visits. Many of these elders feel completely abandoned by their community, and simply being present and compassionate helps them feel connected and important.
Our goal is to help at least 10 elders a year. Together we can improve an elder’s feeling of self worth and health by providing for necessities and companionship.
aging in rural thailand
Adopt an Elder!
A fun way to support what we do is by “adopting” a senior member of the community in which we work and helping us make sure they are properly cared for both physically and emotionally in their old age. Most of the seniors we work with are 90+ years old and have either been abandoned by their families or carrying the burden of raising grandchildren on their own while the parents work in another city.